What’s all the buzz about Windows 7?

After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing the end.  Windows 7 is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft.  It was released to manufacturing in 2009 and on Jan. 14, 2020 Microsoft will no longer provide free security updates, bug fixes or technical support for Windows 7. All good things come to an end and every Windows product has a life-cycle. The life-cycle begins when the product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. According to Net Applications, a web analytics vendor, 38% of all PC’s were operating on Windows 7 as of February 2019.  This means that there are a lot of Windows 7 users who should be updating their operating system prior to Jan. 1, 2020. If you are one of those Microsoft 7 users who need to start thinking about finally moving on from your favorite operating system, here are a couple of things to note. Just because Windows 7 is in its end of life status, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to use it.  But on the same note, we don’t recommend that you continue to use this operating system.  Simply because Microsoft will not be supporting the system with security updates.  Knowing this, if you continue to use Microsoft 7, you are putting yourself and your computer at risk for malicious viruses and other technical issues. Ok, so you have decided to upgrade your operating system, but how?  You have many choices, but the obvious and simplest option is to upgrade to Windows 10.  Upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 has several benefits.  Because both systems are manufactured by...

Oh How IT Has Grown

DRN has always been proud to be your telecommunications cooperative since 1950, providing voice, video and internet services to our members!  Along with providing traditional services, Dickey Rural Networks, saw the need to diversify while continuing to provide cooperative members with the same stellar traditional services.   This decision was driven out of the need and demand that our business customers had for IT services.  These business customers were calling service providers out of Fargo, Bismarck or out-of-state to come out to our rural areas to support their IT networks. So the ReadiTech story begins in 2011, when the DRN Leadership Team and Board of Directors, created ReadiTech – a Managed Solutions company –  to provide IT Solutions to our cooperative members.  ReadiTech was started with one IT Analyst, Andy Meyer and one customer Ashley School.  After successfully supporting the Ashley School, other business relationships started to form.  These relationships would be with other schools, elevators, banks, credit unions, hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, the list goes on.  With the growth of customers, ReadiTech needed to add additional staff.  This is when Scott Young and Richard Reis would join the team and begin supporting IT Services for ReadiTech. Along with growth of customers and maintaining customer networks, came the need to further educate our staff on the latest technologies.  In the world of technology, it is important to be certified in an array of technology disciplines, so customers can be assured of a company’s expertise and standout from the competition.  The ReadiTech staff would begin studying for months, attending boot camps, taking many practice tests and simulations in order to become...

DRN ReadiTech takes backup to the cloud!

Have you ever wondered where your backup data is stored when you purchase DRN Readitech’s backup service?  Until recently, DRN has stored our customer’s data on site locally.  However, this summer DRN ReadiTech’s team made a change.  That change was to move our customer’s data to the cloud.  There are several reasons for moving to the cloud.  These reasons include internal resource efficiency, enhanced security, process validation and ease of scalability.  Moving to the cloud solution will bring about several positive changes for our customers.  The most notable change will be the enjoyment of a monthly price decrease.  Our in house storage cost was $0.30 per gig per month.  Our new cloud solution is $0.20 per gig per month. Do a quick Google search for online backup solutions.  You will find that there are thousands of companies offering online backup services and some at very low prices.  When selecting a backup service provider, proceed with caution.  Several companies selling backup services online do not have a customer service support team.  I’m referring to a real live person you can talk to or chat with when you’re in need of storing your backup.   With some of these online solutions, you are completely on your own to resolve any issues that may arise.  In the event that you have lost all your pictures that were stored on your computer or those important business files, the last feeling you want is to have no one to call for help.   You want and need someone to help you as soon as possible.  Therefore, make sure that whatever backup solution you purchase, choose one...

Tech App:  GroupMe!

One of the predicted popular apps for 2018 is GroupMe!  If you ever get tired of scrolling down your text messaging history to find that group message thread that you know you had….then maybe you want to try GroupMe! GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft.  It allows easy group communication.  Think of all the groups you are involved in…your family group, friend groups, work teams, project teams, school groups, civic groups…the list goes on.   It’s like a chat room for your small group.   GroupMe allows instant communication to that important group at your fingertips and the best part about GroupMe…it’s a free app! GroupMe has been around for some time now but it has recently been gaining popularity since it’s redesign of the application.  Fun features that GroupMe has in addition to chat is the ability to share pictures, videos, locations, events and emojis.  GroupMe also has like functionality built in so you can like messages, pictures, videos, etc. I recently found GroupMe to be beneficial when communicating amongst my work team of nine individuals that are located in several locations.  It allows ease of communication between our work group. Plus our group chat thread is readily available at a glance.  For personal use, I have found GroupMe to be beneficial when planning our summer vacation with a group of family members.  Family members have been able to share pictures, links and ideas with the group easily. One feature that I wish GroupMe had was group video chat.  How fun would that be? You can find GroupMe on all mobile platforms; Apple, Android and Windows. ...

What is Project Management?

We live in a world where there are projects that need to be completed everywhere.  At work, at home, at school, within our organizations and clubs, really everywhere we look we are talking about a project  that needs to be completed.  So have you ever been frustrated on how long a project is taking?  Or been displeased with how much additional a project ends up costing?  Or unhappy with the final result?  If you answered yes to any of these questions than I would like to suggest applying Project Management to your next project. You might be asking the following questions. What is Project Management?  Project Management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. Why should I use Project Management?  Project Management is used to produce a quality end product that will provide benefit.  It is the initiation, planning and control of tasks required to deliver this end product. How can projects be completed the most effective and efficient way possible?  The answer is simple, by applying the below core components of Project Management. Define the reason why a project is necessary Capture project requirements – deliverables, resources, timelines Prepare a business case to justify the investment Secure agreement and funding Develop and implement a management plan for the project Lead and motivate the project team Manage the risks, issues and changes on the project Monitor project progress against the project plan Manage the project budget Maintain communication with stakeholders and project team Manage the project Document lessons learned for future projects Close the project This has been a simplified explanation...